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5 Aggressive Dog Breeds That Can Attack Even Their Owners

aggressive dog breeds
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Did you know these can be aggressive dog breeds?

While none of us want to believe our beloved pets are part of the “aggressive dog breeds”, certain dog breeds are known to be more prone to it than others. And this time we are not talking about the stereotypes that some dogs have gotten due to dig fighting.

Some breeds of dogs can be more prone to acting out like this, and in the end, we have to keep in mind that they are still animals.

We see them as family members and trust them, but you can never know when a dog will turn on its owner and attack due to some outside stimuli or the situation they are in.

Dogs are known to be extremely loyal, and with proper training, all of these dog breeds are known to be docile and non-threatening in the broad sense of the word, but we cannot predict what will happen. Due to some mishaps and bad timing, some dogs can end up charging at their owners.

While generally, even these dog breeds will need a lot of provoking or something to bother them a lot to do something like this, it is good to keep in mind if you want to get any of these pups!

If you are curious about which dog breeds are more likely to turn on their owners, make sure you keep on reading!

Have you ever had such an experience with such a dog breed? Let us know your story in the comments!

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52 Responses

  1. I believe all dogs have the propensity to turn on you, but with excellent training and being vigilant, this can be avoided. Just my opinion.

    1. Not true! I have have several dogs over my long lifetime and not one has ever attacked me. They know I loved, respected and cared for them.
      A dog knows when they are loved.

    2. I believe that all dogs behavior depends on the person that has them and the way that the dogs are treated from puppys up to adult hood

      1. I agree with you 100&. I worked in Animal Cintrol for 37yrs. And I have seen it all. Owners that have no respect for their dogs, no food or water, no shelter, & no vet care. You can bet your bottom dollar that those people have their hands out for everything they can get & then some

    3. Those big dogs like CHOWs and Great.Danes need lots of room.lots of play activity had a Great Dane wanted to play with BF but she was too rough they
      Weigh 100 plus pounds she Died of Arthritis unless you have room and time to devote to dog forget it

  2. My husband and I bought a Springer spaniel from a person who bred them. It was a male and he was absolutely the cutest, sweetest puppy there could be. But the older he got, really starting at a year, we began to see aggression. In fact, the first time we noticed something different was when my best friend at the time came over one time. Winston, our dog, had loved her so much when he was a puppy and would go crazy over her when she came to our house. Then after a few months she came over and Winston was in his crate and she reached to pet him and he almost bit her and snarled and growled. She was shocked, as were we. Well, the older Winston got the worse he became. He bit a couple of my friends, not too terribly bad, but even worst than that he bit me aggressively four times, one time requiring stitches. He would growl and snarl at me all the time. And when he bit he wouldn’t let go. I actually had to kind of gently but forcefully tap him on the head and holler at him to let go. After then myself and my whole family and friends were terrified of him. But I did not have him put down. I still loved him and took care of him until he finally died peacefully in his bed at almost 14 years old. To this day we have no idea what happened to Winston, being that we got him at 8 weeks old and knew he had never been abused. I had so much fear and anxiety when I had to give him medicine or even reach down to unleash him. You never knew what would set him off. Having to put a cone on him after a small procedure was a nightmare! We swore to never get another Springer spaniel again and have since then adopted dogs from our local shelter. They have been wonderful! And one is a pit mix and he is the biggest cuddle bug there is. I’m sure not all Springer spaniels are the way Winston was, and I am actually glad we are the ones who got him. I’m sure if had gone to someone else they would have had him euthanized.

    1. As the owner of a springer I can tell you that your experience was rare. WE got one when he was just 9 weeks old and had him until he died last year. The only time he was aggressive (think barking aggressively) was if he thought we were in danger and then just a word from us was all it took to calm him. Could Winston possibly have not liked to have his safe place (cage) invaded? I’m sorry you did not get to experience the loving relationship we had.

    2. Hi Angela,
      We had a Springer spaniel many years ago then followed by another when the first passed away. they were both from the same breeder as well. However, the second Springer slowly became aggressive, and it became progressively worse as time passed, snarling, showing its teeth! He had always been loved by all of us but when my he tried to attack my young daughter who used to love and cuddle him, we had no choice…
      I then read an article about an owner that was badly attacked by her Springer and the article claimed it was from overbreeding of purebred dogs, referred to as “Springer Rage” Apparently German Shepards are the most common overbred dogs, resulting in the same risk of rage.

      1. I have owned 7German Shepherds in the past 57 years and none of them have exhibited any aggression to my family or friends Had three females and one male together at one time. They are great dogs. Of course they were well trained from puppy school on and were well socialized. Every dog owner should get training for their dogs and continue with it at home afterwards.Training is not a one time. And if you have not had experience with this breed you should not catorize them as you did!

        1. YES. I have owned shepherds, Rottweilers, pit-bulls and a cocker spaniel over the last 60 years and the dog that showed any aggression at all was the spaniel. I agree if you haven’t owned a specific breed , you don’t have the right to comment.

    3. I had a similar experience with a beautiful springer I got from a breeder.’around three years old she became aggressive and the vet said she had something called delayed aggression. I took her to a trainer and she bit him. After a while no one could go near her and the vet said she had to be put down. I was sick about this as this was the only dog I ever got from a breeder. It was not her fault as she was overbred. I have since and before adopted my dogs from shelters only.

    4. Springers are known to have Rage Syndrome. It is an episodic Issue and can come in at maturity. I’m not saying your dog had it, and there is no way to know without having him tested for it. I’llm not up to date on the testing or proper information regarding this illlness. I believe it is an autoimmune issue.

    5. I’m so sorry that he grew into a dog that you couldn’t trust.
      I’m a dog groomer of 40 years and I know all about it. They call it springer rage. You could be working on the haircut or whatever and look to find the springer showing all his or her teeth. They became ungroomable. It’s not you it’s in the breed. Google “Springer Rage” and you can see that you are not alone.

    6. I had a Springer who did that. Turned out she had an eye disease and she was going blind at the young age of two. When people approached her unannounced, without speaking to her she snapped, out of fear. We worked ways around it and the other two dogs learned to approach her gently. She was fine and a gentle baby when handled appropriately. We could not tell she was blind by her behavior, otherwise, nor by looking at her. It was a hereditary degenerative, eye disease which she managed to get around really well.

    7. Dogs or Cats when they You are sick or hurt they can’t tell us, will lash out. They don’t mean it but the fell hurt and we don’t know it.

    8. What a kind but sad story. Y’all are good to your animals and are commended for your 14 years with your springer spaniel . My friend has had 4 of that breed. They die of old age. He would not have it any other way. His dog now, he bought from a breeder. He acted fine until a couple weeks ago. Then for an unknown reason he’s growling at other dogs at dog parks, growling at people. Did a vet ever tell you any reason why this happened. If a vet had any ideas could you please let me know.

    9. The Crate? Why was he put in jail? Would you want to be poked at, while you were behind bars?

  3. Exercise
    Indefinitely be the alpha, and that goes for everyone in the family. Learn body language, dog body language.
    Get off you seat every time your dog is not behaving time to train them

    1. Patricia, I couldn’t agree more. I’m 70 yrs old and have had Dobermans all my life. They are not a threat to their owners, they’re extremely loyal and protect the family unit. Its from strangers that they will aggressively protect, if you invite a friend over, have the friend come in, sit down, then introduce the dog, to the Doberman they now know, this person is not a threat. How ever as you said the owner and family need to be the alpha, a doberman wants instruction and training to follow beginning as a pup, they’re extremely intelligent and really lovable sensitive big babies. Owners who are wishy-washy, live by no rules, can expect a problem. A loyal dog needs training and guidance. The wishy-washer owners would have the same problem raising kids, then when those kids end up being drug addicts and criminals they wonder why.

  4. Sorry to tell you but as a husky owner for over 18 years – Huskies are not aggressive. Full of energy yes. Bot not aggressive

    1. I had a husky from a pup and he bit family members twice. I didn’t get rid of him because we loved him. I tried to work with him but I couldn’t trust him. around my kids and husband, he was great but I worried about him with others so when I had company I just kept him in the basement for the safety of others. He lived to the ripe old get of 15.

  5. My sister had a husky, part wolf. My sister had kids who were babies at the time who would climb over and sleep cured up next to the dog (female) and the dog also accepted any family members, gentle as can be. But at night she would jump over any fence if she got out and attack live stock. It was sad, she was a beautiful dog.

  6. Dalmatians should be on the list. I owned one many years ago. He was very good with me and was also very protective of me. He could become aggressive to others just by them making sudden moves. He once attacked my wife’s Shi tzu. I had to pry the small dog out of his mouth. That was the only time he snapped at me. He one came right through a picture window after my mother-in-law. Actually won my heart after that one. I had another dog who was also protective of me. My younger brother was arguing with me in the back yard. That thought I was being threatened and growled at my brother. He started to throw a karate move at her and the dalmatian flew at my brother and bit into his arm. He got out once and pulled a kid off his bicycle. This kid had a habit of teasing the dog through fence. He was a great dog with me, but I felt I couldn’t keep him anymore. I gave to the owner of a car wrecking yard and he used him as a guard dog. He said the dog bit him a couple of times before the dog got used to him. My vet told me Dalmatians don’t make good pets.

  7. My dog is a Young Great Dane and is gentle as can be! He does not bite at all! He is 14 months old and never had any trouble with him at all! Great Dog and we love Our Baron Von Weber.

  8. You have got to be kidding me!
    Many humans get themselves in over their heads with their chosen dog breeds. The problem is not the dogs; it is the humans in its life who do not take the time to: A. get to know the dog breed, B. gain some general knowledge about dogs, and why they do what they do, C. put in real time to work on their relationship with the dog, and D. train both themselves and the dog. I personally would suggest concept training with the use of games.
    We humans have to learn to respect our dogs and their space. One example of respecting our dogs is to let them eat in peace. Many people believe that you should be able to pull a dogs bowl away from them at anytime when they are eating. Honestly, if someone took my dish away from me before I was through eating I would bite too. I have a German Shepherd dog. The only time I have ever took food from him, was when he stole it off my plate. He didn’t want to give it back, but he allowed me to take it from him, without him barking or biting. My dogs know I’m the giver of food. My GSD, by the way is what folks call reactive. I’ve worked on slowing down his thoughts, so that he does not go from 0 to 100 with his hair thin trigger mouth. The other day, I accidently stepped on him. Before, I started slowing his mind down to think, he would have bit me. That day, he got up, came to me, and I told him how sorry I was as I gave him lots of love.
    What your article is doing is scaring people. I don’t think that it gives any real value. No, not every dog is right for everybody, that is why people need to do research, but instead of empathizing that you just want to scare people.

    1. I also have an overprotective GSD. He’s such a Mommy’s boy. I can touch or take his bowl while eating & have no problems. He loves all children & women but a little fickle when it comes to men. My husband has him trained well, with the help of a trainer, so he can introduce & control him when introducing him to men. Only problem we have is that my dog can’t stand my husband’s cousin. We don’t know why. He won’t attack him as long as my husband is around.

    2. Well we had our dog for almost 8 years and he attacked me. He was 8 weeks old when we got him. I loved our dog so much. He was spoiled and slept with me every night. Never once abused. Only loved. He had anxiety and we asked our vet for help for that. No help there. He tore me up. He shattered my ulna and bites throughout my body as my 3 1/2 yr old granddaughter watched. Luckily my daughter was home sleeping upstairs and heard me screaming for help and was able to save me and call 911. Never say it can’t happen because it can, no matter how much you love your dog. Scariest moment of my life. Always be aware. I will still always be heartbroken over what happened because that dog was my baby.

  9. Based upon my knowledge of all of the dog-breeds mentioned in this list, with the exception of the Great Dane, the remaining four dog-breeds are every bit as ‘aggressive’ and are definitely not for tyro dog-owners. In fact, instead of the Great Dane, either one of these following dog-breeds should’ve been in this list instead of the Great Dane:

    *American Bulldog
    *Cane Corso
    *Caucasian Mountain Dog
    *Dogo Argentino
    *Giant Schnauzer
    *Jack Russells Terrier
    *Presa Canario
    *Tibetan Mastiff
    *Tosa Inu
    *Rhodesian Ridgeback
    Any one of these 15 dog-breeds based upon the temperament alone easily classifies them more ‘dangerous’ than the Great Dane. However, we do know that without proper socialization from an early age on a constant and consistent basis, the Great Dane perpetually is dangerous.

    1. I was attacked by a Caucasian Mountain Dog. I was going to buy a duck. The wife was at home and she led me into the backyard to get the duck. Meanwhile the alpha dog had opened his kennel. As soon as he saw me he attacked. He tore three ligaments in my wrist, bit me on the thigh and bit me in the stomach and pulled so when he let go I fell on my back. I thought he was going to kill me. Instead he stopped attacking me. I was able to pick up my 4 year old grandson and walk to my car. I put my grandson in the car and called 911. Later the bite on my stomach formed a large,, hard hematoma which I had to have surgery on. I have a 4 inch scar from the surgery.

  10. I’m sorry but dogs aren’t born bad! People make dogs behave badly. If you don’t train your dog properly to act the right way. Then you are going to get a dog that doesn’t know how to act around people

    1. This is very true! I have owned
      seven Samoyeds as individuals and in groups. All seven dogs have inspired great love in return for their love of us. Destructive tendencies of occasionally chewing inappropriate material, like income tax forms, have sometimes triggered great concern; but this difficulty is probably typical of many breeds and not a major concern after training them to Stop! And withholding always welcome treats increases their aversion to all forbidden chewing since their chewing tendencies are not prolific or very damaging as those of some other breeds! Samoyeds are very smart and beautiful, offer great love to all, and soon grasp, with training, the potential outcomes of their unacceptable behavior. I love all dogs but especially my dear Samoyeds!
      Love to all dogs,
      Mary Anderson,
      Momma of Seryozha, my first doggie after years of childhood longing for a doggie pet to whom I would not be allergic! He was followed by six more with a mix of Russian and English names. Samoyeds are not allergenic since their beautiful coat is white wool instead of hair. Russian names, consistent with their original home country, Russia, were chosen .by me.names, consistent with their original nationality and reflecting the nature of our great country that welcomes residents of all nationalities and races. I have loved all of my dogs dearly as I love the international population comprising our U.S. citizenship! 🙂
      Mary Anderson

  11. I agree with Lori. Dogs are like people as babies they are born blameless it is the people in their lives that don’t learn how to treat a dog that create problems. My family have been the proud owners of German Shepherds, Dobermans, collies and mixed breeds. Since each one was young they were taught how to behave with love and education. We had 3 German Shepherds and they were great with our children and family and friends. However, they were very protective of us and were taught how to act if there was no danger. I don’t think I would have wanted to tangle with any of our dogs including my 10lb Shih-Tsu if someone tried to hurt us. Please don’t scare people about dogs EDUCATE them!!!!!

  12. this is the second article I want to read and it just says “read on” but how do you get to that page to read on…????

  13. Lori makes a good point. If one doesn’t know how to train a dog, I suggest that they learn how to do it, or take the dog to someone who does. Either that or find someone who can teach them both together. There are people who know how to teach that way. Try the Yellow Pages in the phone book.


  14. Cocker spaniels! I disagree. I have had these breed all my life. They are the sweetest dogs. Maybe the owner has something to do with there behavior?

  15. Any breed can become a fear biter or affenpinscher. You left out the chihuahua’s, although small they can be extremely nasty.

  16. Some dogs, I’ll be straight up honest, I do not trust and will never own! On another note, like above, we purchased our granddaughter a toy poodle at 8 weeks old. He around the age if 1, started the growling and getting mean out of no where. I say this because they both live with me. He’s bitten a drawn blood. No groomer will do him. So it’s not in how you raise them, exercise, I think it’s something at birth. I could be wrong. He’s a handful though and for the most part trustworthy.

  17. I have a rescue dog part American bulldog,part red nose pit and part boxer. He is my 6th dog, and I am 73. He is gentle, kind and children in my building will knock on my door and and play with Marco. I have had 3 Labradors, one US Army trained and my first dog was a Dalmatian. Three girls and 3 boys
    It is how they are brought up and sweet

  18. All dogs have teeth. Anyone that says “my dog does not bite” is foolish. I have had no less that 30 dogs in my 66 year. Boxers were my favorite but I have had a kuvaz, old English sheep, rat terriers, husky’s, small mix Breds pit bull and Boston terriers. That all were living pets but had a strong protective side. We learned their boundaries and we set ours. Honestly the smaller Breda were the fear biters and when there was a knock at the door I picked the up first. They can be a very living animal. Every boy needs a dog but your breeder is important and Heinz’s 57 can sometimes be the best. If you have to keep them kenneled you’re not doing something right. Remember that have pack mentality. They pray on the oldest or the sickest in a group.

  19. I was attacked by a labador. He charged, knocked me to the floor and mauled me until the owner was able to pull him off.
    I have suffered with problems caused by that incident since. I do not want to be around dogs orr have them on my property.

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